Registration is now open for the 2017 Lakeway Police Department Citizens Police Academy.
The program is a 30-hour block of instruction designed to give the public a working knowledge of law enforcement and the department’s policies and operational practices.
Classes will begin Feb. 21, and graduation will be May 9.
The academy will meet Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. for 12 weeks at the Lakeway Activity Center, 105 Cross Creek, to cover a different area of police work each week. Police officers, their supervisors and civilian personnel with particular expertise in a specific organizational function will conduct each instructional block.
The primary objective of the Lakeway Citizens Police Academy is to build a better understanding between citizens and the police department through education.
The program was created to help citizens make informed decisions about police services, police activity and why the police can or cannot take action.
Lakeway Police Chief Todd Radford said that he hopes that the academy will increase public awareness, dispel suspicions and misconceptions and improve rapport between the police officers and citizens. The police department benefits by becoming more aware of the community from the participants’ interaction and input, which makes the academy a two-way learning experience.
“The Citizens Police Academy is an important component of community policing in Lakeway,” Radford said. “I have found that this venue gives us a chance to dispel falsehoods and clarify our role with the public.”
Participants must submit an application and consent to a background check. All applicants must be at least 21 years old and either reside or work within the city of Lakeway. Applicants who are on probation, or who have been convicted of felonies or crimes involving moral turpitude are ineligible.
Class size is limited to 30 people, all of whom must have passed the applicant background check. The academy is free of charge. Students must attend at least 80 percent of the classes in order to graduate.
Graduates are eligible to apply for membership to the Lakeway Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association.
“Many who have attended the academy have found it to be very rewarding and have gone on to continue to serve in our Alumni Association and Lakeway Police Foundation,” Radford said. “We hope to fill it with many eager minds ready to learn about the Lakeway Police Department.”
Applications are available at Lakeway Police Department, 104 Cross Creek, or by clicking here.